Warren Palmer, Centre Director

25 years ago, the Speakeasy Advice Centre opened its doors and reached out to those overwhelmed by debt and financial struggle. Debt harms families and individuals, young and old. It affects both physical and mental health, impacts educational attainment and deprives people of opportunity. It can feel like a spiral of hopelessness and despair.

Sometimes people make bad choices, but don't we all? Often people need help at an early stage, but don't get it. Easy credit, but at extortionate rates, is always available. When you fear losing your home, or you are faced with the choice of buying food or putting on the heating, borrowing more to provide for your family can seem the only option.

There are things that can be done but often it will need someone with expert knowledge and experience, someone who will seek justice for the client undeterred by threats of creditors and bailiffs. But more than that, it takes someone to treat the client with compassion, who does not judge but gives hope and stands with them over the weeks or months it takes to become free from chronic debt.
Warren Palmer, Director of the Speakeasy

Sharing the burden

In 1992 members of Glenwood Church became aware of an increasing number of people in East Cardiff who were becoming trapped in financial hardship and debt. Recognising that in order to escape from this debilitating cycle people often need specialist help and advice, they launched a free legal advice and representation service - The Speakeasy Advice Centre.

The Speakeasy Advice Centre opens its doors in 1993

The Speakeasy Advice Centre opens its doors in 1993

Over the last 25 years we have helped thousands of individuals and families to deal with their debt issues, as well as expanding our work into the areas of welfare benefits, fuel poverty and housing.

Our Christian values remain at the heart of what we do and how we serve the community. We believe that God wants to bring hope to the impoverished and oppressed. We strive to do this with compassion, patience and a constant desire to seek justice for those who struggle to represent themselves and their families. We are open to all who need our help.

In 2010 we moved from our office on Arabella Street to our existing premises on Richmond Road and in 2016 we re-branded as 'The Speakeasy'.

Fighting injustice

We advise and assist over 2,000 people each year. Last year, for every £1 of funding we received, we secured £7.62 of financial benefit for our beneficiaries leading to reduced anxiety, improved physical and mental health and reduced likelihood of future problems.

Our vision is to see people in Cardiff lift themselves out of poverty. We aim to ensure that people:

  • are relieved from the crippling anxiety of debt, taking an active part in their community
  • can afford to feed themselves and their families properly

  • live in good quality housing, safe from the threat of eviction and homelessness

  • can keep their homes warm and afford to pay their bills

  • are given a chance to gain experience and enhance their employment opportunities by volunteering with us

Bringing hope

At Speakeasy we believe everyone deserves access to expert, impartial advice.  We work hard to secure sustainable funding sources which means you don't pay for our services. Ever.

We only employ expert advisers, including qualified solicitors, to provide specialist legal advice, assistance and representation. We specialise in debt, welfare benefits, housing and fuel debt advice. We have delivered high quality advice in the Cardiff area for 25 years, helping thousands of families and individuals to seek justice.

We know that good advice can be hard to find, so we offer a range of services from locations across the city in addition to our main office in Roath.

There's no waiting list for appointments. Instead we offer weekly drop-in sessions at a range of locations so that you can get help quickly. All our advice is completely free of charge, impartial and confidential.